The Context of SWOT


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SWOT analysis can be simply understood as the examination of an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, and its environments, opportunities, and threats. It is a general tool designed to be used in the preliminary stages of decision-making and as a precursor to strategic planning in various kinds of applications. When correctly applied, it is possible for a vocational school to get an overall picture of its present situation in relation to its community, other colleges, and the industries its students will enter.

An understanding of the external factors (comprised of threats and opportunities) coupled with an internal examination of strengths and weaknesses assists in forming a vision of the future and in making appropriate decisions. Such foresight would translate to initiating competent programmes or replacing redundant, irrelevant programmes with innovative and relevant ones.

The first step in a SWOT analysis is to make a worksheet by drawing a cross, creating four sectors ¾ one each for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The next step is to list specific items related to the problem at hand, under the appropriate heading in the worksheet. It is best to limit the list to 10 or fewer points per heading and to avoid over-generalizations.

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SWOT can be performed by the individual administrator or in groups. Group techniques are particularly effective in providing structure, objectivity, clarity and focus to discussions about strategy which might otherwise tend to wander or else be strongly influenced by politics and personalities. The Context of SWOT

It should be noted that when working in groups in educational settings, three distinct attitudes (positive/participative, negative/non-participative and neutral/indecision) emerge among teachers depending on their years of service. Teachers having 0 – 6 years of experience tend to be the most participative and receptive to new ideas.

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